Art Buzz February 13, 2012: David M. Stone: Art history professor elected to board of the American Academy in Rome



American Academy trustee

Art history professor elected to board of scholarly center in Rome

Source: University of Delaware, UDaily, 2-13-12

Prof. David M. Stone has joined the board of a leading center for the study of the arts and humanities in Rome.

David M. Stone, professor of art historyat the University of Delaware, has been elected to the board of trustees of the American Academy in Rome, a leading American overseas center for independent studies and advanced research in the fine arts and humanities.

In 1997-98, Stone was the winner of the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Rome Prize Fellowship, one of up to 30 highly competitive Rome Prize Fellowships that the Academy offers to artists and scholars. Fellows are chosen by juries of experts in the fields of ancient, medieval, Renaissance and early modern studies; modern Italian studies; architecture, landscape architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation; literature; musical composition; and visual arts.

Prof. David M. Stone has joined the board of a leading center for the study of the arts and humanities in Rome.

“The academy is a place where gifted artists, writers and scholars live together, experience Rome and share ideas while also working on individual projects,” Stone said.

The American Academy in Rome began as a collaborative effort in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exhibition when a small group—including architects Charles Follen McKim and Daniel Burnham, painters John LaFarge and Francis Millet and sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French—resolved to create a center to study art amid the classical tradition of ancient Rome. They chose Rome as the site of the academy because, in their words, “with the architectural and sculptural monuments and mural paintings, its galleries filled with the chef d’oeuvres of every epoch, no other city offers such a field for study or an atmosphere so replete with precedents.”

In 1894, McKim founded the American School of Architecture in Rome. He involved not only artists and architects but also the financial geniuses of his time; J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Henry Clay Frick all contributed to the enterprise. A year later, the Archaeological Institute of America established the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, and in 1911, the board of trustees voted to merge and the two schools, which became today’s American Academy in Rome.

Stone has taught at UD since 1987. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Berkeley and his master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard University. A specialist in Italian 17th century art, he is best known for his studies of Caravaggio (especially his works for the Knights of Malta) and the paintings and drawings of the Bolognese artist Guercino. In addition to the Rome Prize, Stone has received senior fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton….READ MORE


Art Buzz February 13, 2012: Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie: New book by UCSB art historian is the first to catalog indigenous African art owned by an African collector



New book by UCSB art historian is the first to catalog indigenous African art owned by an African collector

Source: Art Daily, 2-13-12

Ogbechie catalogs the private collection owned by Femi Akinsanya.

With a new book that formalizes and interprets a collection of indigenous African art owned by an African collector, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, a professor of history of art and architecture at UC Santa Barbara, is changing the way African art is regarded and valued.

In “Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art” (Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2012 distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc.), Ogbechie catalogs the private collection owned by Femi Akinsanya. Located in Lagos, Nigeria, the collection features 740 pieces, including artworks that originated in Yoruba, Igbo, Urhobo, Cross River, Benin, and the Benue River Valley cultures of Nigeria. The book is published in English and French editions.

“There is a sense in which the idea of African art seems to be restricted to those African artworks that were taken out of the continent during the colonial period,” Ogbechie explained. “When people talk about authentic African art, that’s what they’re referring to –– artworks that are held by Western collectors and museums. Anything that’s owned or held by Africans themselves is considered to be a fake.”

According to Ogbechie, the protocols of authenticating artworks as original have less to do with the history of the works in their indigenous contexts, than with their provenance –– the documentation of the works after they have become part of a collection. Publishing a book like “Making History” is the first step in elevating African artworks held by African collectors from generic objects to works of art that have measurable economic value.

“Someone in Africa could have a piece that belonged to a society that used it as an object of initiation. It has indigenous value, but until it becomes part of someone’s collection, it has no financial value,” Ogbechie continued. “The collector is important to the process of creating value.”…READ MORE